Water Seed - Wonder Love Pt. 2

Water Seed
Water Seed Wonder Love Pt. 2.jpg
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The New Orleans based band Water Seed hoped to initiate an ambitious endeavor for their Wonder Love Parts 1& 2 projects. The group wanted to release both records on vinyl, and tried to finance the project through a crowd sourcing campaign on kickstarter.com.  SoulTrackers don’t need an explanation as to the virtues of putting music on wax. We know that next to live performance and reel-to-reel tape, vinyl is the absolute best way to listen to music. Albums are less expensive than concert tickets and the technology is more portable than bulky reel-to-reel tape. Unfortunately, the clock ran out on Water Seed before they could meet their goal.

The New Orleans based band Water Seed hoped to initiate an ambitious endeavor for their Wonder Love Parts 1& 2 projects. The group wanted to release both records on vinyl, and tried to finance the project through a crowd sourcing campaign on kickstarter.com.  SoulTrackers don’t need an explanation as to the virtues of putting music on wax. We know that next to live performance and reel-to-reel tape, vinyl is the absolute best way to listen to music. Albums are less expensive than concert tickets and the technology is more portable than bulky reel-to-reel tape. Unfortunately, the clock ran out on Water Seed before they could meet their goal.

Water Seed fans will can acquire both albums as CD’s, and I assume as mp3 recordings as well. But while for music purists those music delivery platforms are decidedly inferior, the underlying music provided by Water Seed is absolutely top-flight. I had a chance to listen to Wonder Love Pt. 1 earlier this year, and I also head the pleasure of reviewing the band’s 2010 recording, Fresh.

The first thing listeners will notice after listening to these recordings is that there really isn’t a Water Seed “sound,” if by that you mean genres and arrangements that remain consistent through the band’s projects. Diversity certainly marks Wonder Love Parts 1 & 2. The prior project possesses more of a smoother neo-soul (if you don’t mind the use of that phrase) sound. Listeners also heard allusions to New Orleans on Part 1, and there were touches of disco as well.

New Orleans courses through Wonder Love Pt. 2. The recording has a brassier and funkier sound – kind of like the Hot 8 Brass Band jamming with a funk outfit like The Meters. Wonder Love Pt. 2 also includes tracks such as “Vent” that have an alternate R&B, experimental feel. “Vent” is basically a bitter, stream of consciousness message recorded on the voice mail of an unfaithful or inconsiderate lover after a break-up. The venting falls on a musical arrangement that alternates between jazzy love ballad and down shift hard-core funk. The end of the song includes a melodic vocalization of the word bulls—t that will leave anyone who’s ever been on the business end of a bad breakup laughing and nodding their heads in collective understanding.

Water Seed once again shows that they know how to make dance music. Part 1 included the disco influenced “Can We Dance.” Part 2 pulls people onto the dance floor with the funky “Show Work and Prove,” a track that features those blasting horns and the kind of thumping bass that would have been right at home in the 1970s. Water Seed reminds listeners that New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and this is one of several cuts featuring flights of instrumental creativity.

“Build Me Up” is a mid tempo cut where Jon Bibbs’ velvety vocals provide a counterpoint to the band’s understated improvisations, while “Move On” proves that rap backed by a funk band is an excellent combination. The tune finds rapper Kev Choice using all off lyrical gifts to convince a young lady to give him the time of day. He’s unsuccessful, but his failing efforts display a lyrical dexterity that will remind old school hip-hop fans why they fell in love with the genre.

It’s a shame that Water Seed’s Kickstarter effort fell short. This group possesses the kind of fat sound that would have filled the room the moment the stylus touched the vinyl. The CD won’t give listeners the same sound, but the quality of the material will be apparent regardless of the medium. This album, in any format, is a winner. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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